By Michael P. Tremoglie
Tremoglie's Tea Time Blog
For the past several years I have written extensively about the deadly problem of repeat violent offenders who are let loose from prison by our political representatives or the institutions for which they are responsible.
My articles have been met with approval and, in some instances, were responsible for motivating some action. I received communications from both police officers and parole agents who told me how the system is abused.
When I wrote for the Philadelphia Daily News in February 2006 how Philadelphia's "gun court" sentences 55 percent of those convicted to probation or how two thirds released from pre-trial custody never show for trial, there were expressions of outrage.
When I wrote in the November 2007 Philadelphia Bulletin that cops receive the death penalty while their killers get life sentences, many were similarly indignant.
My piece titled " Who Freed the Cop Killers" for the May 8, 2008 Philadelphia Daily News, spoke of the lenient parole and probation procedures that led to violent offenders being released who in turn killed police officers. This piece was referenced by nationally syndicated columnist Walter Williams. It generated many responses, from those within and outside of law enforcement, questioning why this has been allowed to continue.
"Patterns in Killings of Police Officers Ignored," an article which appeared in the Sept. 25, 2008 edition of the Philadelphia Bulletin, reiterated the abuses of the parole and probation that led to officers (and civilians) being murdered. Soon after this was published, the governor of Pennsylvania ordered a review of parole procedures. It was largely a whitewash.
Yet, these circumstances are not unique to Philadelphia. A murder spree of three Oakland California police officers last March was conducted by a parole violator.
Studies have confirmed this. According to data complied by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ):
"Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime. "
The amount of crimes these paroled felons were arrested for is staggering. According to the DOJ:
"The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 accounted for nearly 4,877,000 arrest charges over their recorded careers. Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide. "
These offenders wreak havoc and murder not long after being released from prison.
So it comes as no great revelation that this recent mass murderer of police officers in Seattle Washington was, allegedly, by a paroled violent offender, Maurice Clemmons. It may come as a shock that he was paroled by Republican governor and former, as well as possible future, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
It should not.
Huckabee possesses all the characteristics of politicians who are so anxious to redeem the guilty they forget to protect the innocent. He was very ambitious in letting as many out of prison as possible. The Clemmons case is not the first prisoner released by Huckabee who subsequently committed a horrendous crime. He actively promoted the release of a violent offender who went on to kill someone else on at least one other occasion that has been made public.
So this recent case brings to a total of five the number of people killed by violent offenders that Mike Huckabee was responsible for releasing from prison. For his part Huckabee has tried to distance himself from the results of his policies.
Instead, he should heed the words of former counterterrorism official Richard A. Clarke, who said in his public apology to the family members of the victims of the 9-11 attack, "Your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you, and I failed you."
These words should also be emblazoned on the doors of every parole and probation office in the United States.
During the next several months I will be working on a book about the deleterious effect of political correctness in law enforcement. A segment of this book will be written with a distant cousin who is a judge in Italy. The differences in recidivism between the Italy and the U.S. are stark.
I have yet to find a publisher, however, I guarantee that this book will be published - one way or the other. Because the problem of probation and parole - and more importantly the culture that fosters this problem needs to be revealed for all.